ICC Women's T20 World Cup Warm-Up
Aussie World Cup warm-up fixture washed out
Heavy rain in Brisbane forces Saturday's Allan Border Field match against West Indies to be cancelled, robbing Australia of a game to fine-tune
Laura Jolly in Brisbane
14 February 2020, 08:42 PM AEST
Australia's first official T20 World Cup warm-up match against the West Indies has been cancelled, after torrential rain left the outfield at Brisbane's Allan Border Field unplayable.
Brisbane has been pounded with storms and heavy rain in recent days, with a remarkable 350mm falling on the ground in the past week.
That precipitation followed weeks of wet weather, with the cumulative rainfall in the Queensland capital already exceeding average annual levels.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Aussies, and Tayla Vlaeminck can't wait for it all to get started next week! #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/quwlVsmGbK— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 14, 2020
Despite the best efforts of ground staff and a dry, sunny day on Friday, the outfield remained waterlogged late in the afternoon, prompting officials to make the early call to cancel the match.
The game will not be rescheduled, with Australia to fly to Adelaide on Sunday ahead of their second warm-up against South Africa on Tuesday.
However, it is hoped Sunday's practice matches between Thailand and Bangladesh, and India and Pakistan, will be able to go ahead with another dry day forecast for Saturday giving the field more time to dry.
It is not the first time a waterlogged outfield has interrupted play at Allan Border Field in the past 12 months – last March, the opening day of the Sheffield Shield final was abandoned despite strong sunshine bearing down on the ground for almost the entirety of the afternoon.
The ground's proximity to Breakfast Creek and nearby mangrove swamps means the area is easily flooded, but the venue is due to be upgraded, transforming the precinct in the National Cricket Campus.
A $7million pledge from the Federal Government last year was matched by a $7 million contribution by the Queensland State Government in August. Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket have reserved $4.25 million for the project.
The completed project – which also includes the Northern Suburbs Cricket Club in Kalinga – will feature a fully integrated industry-leading indoor and outdoor cricket facility and will be the training base for Australia's men's and women's sides, as well as providing access to youth, all-abilities, indigenous and touring teams capable of hosting women's internationals, national championship, first-class, domestic one-day, Rebel Women's Big Bash League and Premier Cricket matches.
"Unfortunately, we have had to cancel Saturday's warm-up match between Australia and West Indies because of persistent heavy rain which has left the outfield currently in an unfit condition for play," Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events, said.
"Whilst the curators have worked tirelessly, the volume of rain has left us with no option but to cancel tomorrow's match.
"We are hopeful that conditions will permit the matches between Bangladesh and Thailand, and India and Pakistan to take place on Sunday."
The cancellation means Australia's top-order will have one less opportunity to hit full stride ahead of next Friday's World Cup opener against India in Sydney.
While the hosts took out the recent CommBank T20I Tri-Series against India and England, there were some concerns around their top order after opener Alyssa Healy – one of the most damaging batters in the world on her day – failed to reach double figures in any of her five knocks.
Putting in the hard yards ahead of our #T20WorldCup warm-up against the Windies tomorrow!#CmonAussie pic.twitter.com/Pss9dnA3oO— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) February 14, 2020
Lanning and star allrounder Ellyse Perry have also been short of their best, averaging 19 and 18 respectively in the tri-series.
"There's a lot of improvement to be had in our top order," Australia allrounder Ashleigh Gardner said on Friday. "Beth Mooney's done really well but the batters around her haven't done amazingly."
The match had been a sellout, with Brisbane fans eager to get a look at the world No.1 Australians as they embark on their World Cup title defence, with the ICC confirming tickets will be refunded.
2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
February 18: Australia v South Africa, Karen Rolton Oval
February 21: Australia v India, Sydney Showgrounds
February 24: Australia v Sri Lanka, WACA Ground
February 27: Australia v Bangladesh, Manuka Oval
March 8: Final, MCG
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE
* All matches will be broadcast on Fox Cricket and Kayo, while Australia's matches will also be broadcast on the Nine Network